Capitol Connection – April 9, 2021
Celebrate Fair Housing Month
Colorado REALTORS® promote fair housing and anti-discrimination policies and practices in our advocacy and day-to-day business. This year, CAR introduced the Century of Opportunity Legislative Package that aims to remove barriers to homeownership, and increase opportunity for economic mobility for all Coloradans, especially Colorado’s communities of color who represent less homeownership across our state. Those solutions include:
1. Include financial literacy in high-school curriculum so that students have a better understanding of credit, debt, and student loans, as well as preparing for homeownership and retirement (HB21-1200).
2. Require the Division of Housing to annually report how housing dollars are spent to get a comprehensive picture of the state’s housing needs, be transparent about how we are meeting those needs, and base long-term affordable housing decisions on data (HB21-1028).
3. Allow for credit building through pilot programs that level the playing field for populations of color and give renters opportunities to build their credit so they can access homeownership (HB21-1134).
4. Empower and reward local governments that pursue best practices in affordable housing policy that will help Colorado communities create more housing to meet the needs of Coloradans (bill coming soon).
This week at the State Capitol:
Ski Area Safety Plans And Accident Reporting (SB21-184)
Senate Bill 184 requires Colorado ski areas to publicly report all accidents and injuries and collect and make available specific information about each accident, including where and when it occurred, the conditions at the time, the type of injuries and whether death occurred on site or following medical transport and nonprivate information about the injured person.
Ski areas are the economic engines of Colorado’s mountain towns. Tourism dollars drive demand for restaurants, hotels and countless small businesses and services. This bill would needlessly give ski areas and the communities that depend on them a black eye, effectively saying that resorts are experiencing a safety crisis that requires government intervention. Building this unfounded perception will have negative reputational and business consequences for those who work, play, and own property in our mountain communities.
If enacted, Colorado would be alone among the 37 ski states in having those requirements. There are no equivalent requirements for any other amateur sport or recreation activity. Importantly, this effort risks Colorado’s reputation as a fun, safe outdoor recreation destination for enthusiasts across the country and worldwide. And the bill would do nothing to improve safety on the slopes.
Local Authority for Business Personal Property Tax Exemption (SB21-130)
Colorado’s businesses continue to face hardship as the state navigates its way to full recovery from COVID-19. Senate Bill 130 allows local governments to exempt business personal property from property taxes for the 2021 tax year. This bill is a priority of Governor Polis as shared in his state of the state address earlier this year. The bill is intended to give businesses one less worry. Business personal property means moveable items owned by a business, including machinery, computers and furniture.
Colorado is proud to be a pro-business state where nearly 99.5% of Colorado businesses are small businesses, including Colorado REALTORS®. The pandemic has been extremely difficult on everyone and caused many businesses to close their doors or rethink their business operations to survive. CAR is supportive of efforts to assist small businesses regain their strength and get back to full operating capacity.
LPC Position: Support
Bill Status: The bill passed the House Committee and Transportation and Local Government on Wednesday.
Conservation Easement Tax Credit Modifications (HB21-1233)
House Bill 1233 makes technical adjustments to the Conservation Easement Tax Credit Program by to expand the list of entities that are eligible to donate a conservation easement and receive a tax credit. It also adjusts the tax credit formula to allow landowners who are donating an easement to receive up to 90% of the value of their easement in tax credits. It would also eliminate the burden on the Department of Revenue to “marry up” tax returns between landowners claiming a credit and transferees utilizing the credit.
If passed, the bill would create a tracking system for the transfer of tax credits within the Department of Revenue to increase processing efficiency and eliminate the 6-month waiting period for landowners and transferees to utilize the credit. HB21-1233 also allows landowners to sell credits and take advantage of the TABOR refund rather than choosing one over the other.
Finally, HB21-1233 creates a more efficient program and reduces the administrative burden on the Department of Revenue to determine how many credits are used each year by buyers, partners and shareholders for a given credit to ensure the total is under $50,000 and provides the Division of Conservation the authority to serve as a receivership of orphaned easements.
LPC Position: Support
Bill Status: The bill passed the House Agriculture, Livestock and Water Committee on Monday and will next be heard in the House Finance Committee.
NAR Presents: The Past, Present and Future of Fair Housing (April 15)
On April 15, in partnership with the Memorial Foundation Inc., builders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., NAR is sponsoring a special event, “The Past, Present, and Future of Fair Housing.” The event will be hosted by Soledad O’Brien, an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist and feature Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge as the headline speaker.
Watch on Facebook Live on April 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern.
CAR Hosting Fair Housing Event on June 16 (Virtual)
On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Passed with bipartisan support in Congress, it was enacted to prohibit the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, or sex. The Act expanded equal housing to all.
As REALTORS®, it is our duty to help every consumer pursue their dream of homeownership and to build thriving communities.
We hope you join us for this free opportunity to learn about Fair Housing:
- The History
- A REALTORS® Role
- Solutions for Teams and Individual Agents
- Support and Resources to go forward with the commitment that REALTORS® support Housing for All
When: June 16 at 9:30 a.m. – noon
Speakers, more info and registration: Click Here